With the watchOS8 release last week, the Apple Watch now offers tai chi and Pilates workouts as well as mindfulness features and more sleep tracking options, Apple announced on June 7. In addition, Apple Fitness+ will introduce new workouts and a new artist spotlight series.
The tai chi and Pilates workout types are supported by validated custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics, the company said.
With watchOS 8, the Breathe app becomes the Mindfulness app, featuring an enhanced Breathe experience, plus a new session type, Reflect. Reflect offers a mindful intention to focus on for as little as one minute that can be done anywhere and at any time. Each Reflect session welcomes the user with a unique, thoughtful notion to consider that invites a positive frame of mind, according to Apple. For example, the user may see something like “Recall a time recently when you felt a sense of calm. Bring that feeling into this moment,” or “Reflect on one thing you’re grateful for and think about why you appreciate it so much.” Both the Breathe and Reflect experiences also offer tips to help users get more from each session and feature new animations.
watchOS 8 also increases the insight on sleep for users. The Apple Watch helps users meet their sleep goals by establishing a pre-bedtime routine and tracks metrics such as time asleep, heart rate and blood oxygen. With watchOS 8, it now allows users to track sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute. To do this, Apple Watch uses the built-in accelerometer to measure respiratory rate while sleeping, and this information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone. This metric is also available for developers to use with permission through HealthKit.
With the watchOS 8, Apple Fitness+ expands its offering with picture in picture support and new filtering options, and users can stop and resume an in-progress workout on any device. Later in June, Fitness+ will introduce a new series of workouts featuring Jeanette Jenkins and a new Artist Spotlight Series with workouts featuring entire playlists from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Alicia Keys.